Auto-entrepreneur status - working for one company

Hello, could anyone tell me please if it is okay to only have one client under the auto-entrepreneur system? People keep telling me that it is not allowed, but I had not heard that.

Thanks Julia. I was trying to make contact via AE website to ask them the question and then have a written reply back (as proof), but in order to do that I need my: "numero de travailleur independant", and I don't know what that is or where to find it :-(

Oddly, on the docs on the AE site there is nothing stating in black and white that you must work for more than one employer. However the fact that you can be an AE in your spare time, while holding down a salaried job, implies that you should have 2 jobs as a minimum. Maybe it's just an unwritten rule.

Brian, I went to tax office to see about CFE this morning as I had the same problem as you. They sorted it out immediately. I don't have a work space, I sit on a drafty landing :-)

Does anyone know where to find :

"Numéro de travailleur indépendant "

on a RSI quarterly attestation de versement or elsewhere? it is not siren; siret, code NAF apparently.

Snigger, snigger, sceptically on the last point. At present I am hanging fire on my CFE. The bill came out with about three days deadline to pay, my password from last year no longer working so I had to contact them by email to get one sent by post, which arrived yesterday. So now I am late, the password only valid until 10 January and undecided whether to pay or not because a number of French friends have said they can't be bothered because they don't actually have a workspace of their own. To cover my tail I called, was told pay and no discussion, email and never heard back. OK, only a week and Christmas this week, so perhaps I am expecting too much. But they can't be bothered, so why should we be?

Thanks Helen. My problem is that I have been working for several companies and want to off load most of them as it is hard to keep up with the work load.... but as everyone says... the authorities would not look at it like that..

Companies are not allowed to hire an Auto-entrepreneur for their "main" activity either. A language school that teaches mainly English cannot take on an AE to teach English, but apparently can for other languages. (This is just an example...) But they may have changed that rule.

Thanks, Brian, it's depressing and so frustrating! But then again I should have known better. We are in France! This morning the tax people said as long as you pay your tax we don't care, and the social charges people said as long as you pay your social charges we don't care.... I then thought to contact the Auto-entrepreneur people? would it be worth trying to get something in writing from them? eg an email reply?

When I had to battle it out that was a point I made. I exists absolutely nowhere in black on white but they insisted, phoned people in Paris and did everything to try to do me for only doing work for SCF despite all I explained about various countries, etc. You can perhaps try fighting it out if necessary but bear in mind how intransigent the people are and how right they are no matter how right any of us may actually be.

Hello Sarah, Sarah, Brian and Julia, are you able to tell me please where it states that you cannot work for only one company? The tax office and the RSI are not aware of this rule. So I am a little perplexed and need to find out more please. Thanks in advance :-)

Thanks Julia, good idea. I might try that.


As others have said, it is correct that you must have more than one client as AE, as with only 1 client you are technically that client's employee. Could you maybe also do a little bit of Bed & Breakfast? A simple form from the Mairie, and register with your local tourist office. You wouldn't need to do it often, but it might get you out of the "only one client" situation.

Sorry meant to say thanks to both Sarahs! :)

Thanks Sarah and Brian. That is very useful. Yes, seems a bit unfair and a nonsense as you say. I could have many more clients, but as there are not enough hours in the day and only one of me, I have to reduce down now otherwise I will be ill. I guess the only way round you have done Sarah is to continue to work for other clients, but only for 20 minutes each a week! Thanks again, that really helps in my decision making.

Moot point. For two years I only did any paid work for Save the Children. However I was paid by various country offices around the world. However, if you have a regular monthly or quarterly income from a single source then you are in trouble. That was, just to make life easy, the year they called in my bookkeeping and so on to have a look at. Fortunately I had my contracts and was able to explain that all are different jobs, different places but interconnected so a single organisation worldwide through a number of it national branches and irregular rather than on a regular cycle. I spent quite some time explaining and re-explaining until the centîme dropped.

The problem is made by them because there is no actual single sentence that tells you that, more like it is implied being an AE allows you to earn an income from a number of disconnected sources. However it is generally accepted and is said by them that you have to 'diversify'. In the real world it is nonsense given that if you have four regular clients, three go bankrupt leaving you with none and no new clients with a flat market then you are breaking rules by something beyond your control. So, nonsense it may be, but it is their nonsense and that is what we have to put up with.

I'm the same - 90% of my income comes from one client in the UK, so I provide English training too to boost the number of 'clients'

yes I am afraid that is the case. The point being to avoid letting some companies employ people on a contract basis in order to avoid paying social taxes and contributions to the system. Their point being that if you only have one client then they should be employing you as a standard 'employee'. Being an AE is supposed to be about being a free agent and having several points of income.

I had the same problem so I had to circumvent this by registering under a mixed AE sort of thing whereby I have 2 different forms of work which provide income.

I should point out btw that I DO have income from the secondary source but it is minimal. My main source of income is from one client only and a client in the UK.